The Linux Foundation has used the Mobile World Congress this week in Barcelona to announce its intent to form the OPEN-Orchestrator Project (OPEN-O). The project will seek to develop the first open source software framework and orchestrator to enable software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) operations.
The foundation, which is also a major force behind such SDN/NFV-related projects as OpenDaylight and ONOS, says initial supporters of OPEN-O include Brocade, China Mobile, China Telecom, DynaTrace, Ericsson, F5 Networks, GigaSpaces, Huawei, Infoblox, Intel, KT, Red Hat, Raisecom, Riverbed, and ZTE. Other interested parties are welcome to participate as well, according to the foundation.
The Linux Foundation says the project is necessary because, while SDN and NFV have begun to enable autonomous, real-time telecom operations, many operational support systems (OSS) based on proprietary software are getting in the way. The result is fragmented technologies and interoperability issues. As an open source orchestration framework would enable speed SDN and NFV implementation, the thinking goes, as well as accelerate multi-vendor integration, service innovation, and network agility.
As with other Linux Foundation projects, OPEN-O governance could include a Technical Steering Committee and an End User Advisory board to ensure alignment of needs between the technical and end user communities. Project members expect to create a development and testing platform as well as build and support an open source developer community.
“Operators are now facing the transformation of capabilities to provide user-centric services, from connectivity-oriented service to integrated cross-domain, cross-layer and cross-vendor services. With the introduction of SDN and NFV, the networks are becoming increasingly automatic and service-oriented, inspiring much more creation and exploring to build up a rich and flat ecosystem,” explained Shen Shaoai, China Telecom’s deputy general manager of the Technology Department. “OPEN-O will set up the world’s first SDN and NFV unified orchestrator platform. China Telecom is expecting this platform can play a significant role in the development of SDN/NFV. China Telecom is willing to work together with other operators and partners to promote the collaborative innovation and look forward to a bright future of SDN and NFV.”